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Even Superheroes Need Breaks

If being a mom is a superpower, this is our Wonder Woman, and I'm nominating her for the #BreakYouMake award from Chobani.(Last Updated On: May 27, 2015)

The first thing I learned about being a mom is how terrifying it is to love someone this impossibly much. The second thing I learned is that there is no such thing as rested moms. I’m exhausted by dinnertime every night. Sometimes, I hide in the bathroom to get five minutes of peace and quiet. The only break I get is the one I make, and sometimes there simply isn’t a break.

When Chobani asked women to think about someone in your life that needs a break, I immediately thought about my best friend, Kaitlin, whose whole life has been an emergency for almost three years.

Being a mom is kind of a superpower. A viral video about the world’s toughest job reminds us how challenging being a mom is: the job is 24/7, no weekends or vacations, in fact, those and holidays are more work, sleep is optional, and it’s unpaid. In today’s culture of Pinterest perfection, we’re also pretty sure we’re failures. And that is just a “normal” mom.

If all moms are superheroes, she is a Wonder Woman.If being a mom is a superpower, this is our Wonder Woman, and I'm nominating her for the #BreakYouMake award from Chobani.

Three years ago, her first son turned one. His last birthday present was a t-shirt that read, “Big Brother.” Surprise! They were unexpectedly expecting.

Then her soldier husband deployed, again.  He left just as a sonogram revealed something might be wrong with the baby. She was alone for months of blood tests and scary WebMD searches, of watching people not be as excited for this baby because they didn’t know how to feel or what to say.

She spent months afraid, worried, wondering what life would be for this child she hadn’t even met yet. Then Will was born with a bonus chromosome (we think it is where he gets his super-charm).

Down Syndrome children come with unique challenges. They can have heart defects and feeding issues. They generally need physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and a plethora of medical assistance and interventions each week. She had two children under two, one with significant needs, one who just needed his parents, a husband who is away most of every year, and a family who live far, far away from wherever the Army has stationed them this month.

Her life went from normal mom busy to insane. They had two or more therapies a day: A DAY. Between getting out the door for each appointment and finding care for her oldest, it was a ridiculous period of her life. I used to just cry on the phone with her.

Then life got even harder.

Will was diagnosed with leukemia. Kaitlin and Will stayed at the hospital for 21-30 days for 6 cycles of chemotherapy, were home a week, then returned for the next round. She spent 8 months going back and forth between her home and the hospital 2 hours away, most of those months sleeping on a cot (if the room even had a bed, some didn’t) if she could sleep over the noises of all the monitors and machines and having her child woken for tests every 15 minutes all night long, yes, SERIOUSLY.

And when they weren’t waking him up, he was howling in pain, puking and pooping and not able to understand why he felt so awful or make any sense of this terrible, terrible time. (Read more at Nothing is Wasted)

But she was a champion for her superhero, for all kiddos with DS and cancer. She made cookies and lasting friendships and shared Jesus’ love with everyone she met. She called me crying a lot, but always asked about me and really listened.

If all moms are superheroes, how do you honor the Wonder Woman of them all? She and Will wore superhero costumes and defeated cancer #LIKEABOSS. Then exhausted and drained, she dragged her superhero self home, ready to regroup.

And then Army relocated her family. She was home for a few days and had to move, say good-bye to friends, leave her emergency support system, find a new home, make new friends, unpack two kids and a husband and find the lid for the crock pot inexplicably in the box of toiletries, and start all over with new doctors, schools, and therapists, lost in a new community, new state.

Especially this past year, I can’t think of a day this woman has lived that didn’t make me exhausted watching her. No one needs a break like Kaitlin does. She has lived like a superhero, being a force of joy and love through some of the toughest struggles young moms can imagine.

So, I’m nominating Kaitlin for the Chobani #BreakYouMake Day. We’re hoping that the #CANCERFREE diagnosis and a new duty station will give her family the chance to Flip this year around and find some time to enjoy her boys and life.

Even amazing Superhero moms need breaks, even if we have to make them ourselves.

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5 thoughts on “Even Superheroes Need Breaks

  1. Wow! I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be able to complain about anything for the next month!

    1. I know. One of her strengths is she always reminds me not to compare, that what I’m going through might be tough for me and wouldn’t be something she would handle well. it makes her really good friend

  2. What an amazing story!! It’s so perfect that no matter what we experience, when we lean on God, we just KNOW that He wont give us more than we can handle.. God must have a lot of faith in this amazing super hero mom!! May God continue to grace her with strength and support in whatever community she ends up in (sometimes he puts us where we can be an example for someone else)… He must need her example of determination in lots of places 🙂

    1. She certainly has been a beacon of His light for many. And I am so blessed to be her friend.

  3. Jesus is our ultimate superhero – He is always there for us 😀

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